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FCC To Ban Exclusive Broadband Deals
New rules to be handed down on Wednesday...
by Karl Bode 10:24AM Monday Oct 29 2007 Tipped by badd See Profile
For months, AT&T and Verizon have been asking the FCC to ban cable operators from maintaining exclusive service contracts with the owners of apartment buildings, developments and MDUs (multiple dwelling units). When the phone company asks for something, the FCC delivers:
The Federal Communications Commission, hoping to reduce the rising costs of cable television, is preparing to strike down thousands of contracts this week that gave individual cable companies exclusive rights to provide service to an apartment building, the agency’s chairman says.
With their usual flair for leaks, the FCC's plans, to be clarified Wednesday, were known by the public weeks ago. Cable providers and landlords, meanwhile, argue that the FCC lacks the legal authority to intervene and that nothing is wrong with the current system. Cable operators have insisted that the deals bring consumers lower prices.

Consumers stuck in such cable arrangements usually don't agree. The smaller exclusive operators in particular have absolutely no competition and therefore no incentive to improve, so they frequently offer pricey services, few features and limited customer support.

Verizon, of course, is making a big push this year into the MDU market with FiOS, and last we checked, they had some exclusive deals of their own. Such deals are sometimes extreme; one development in Virginia is locked into an exclusive, decades-long service contract with an FTTH company residents say is unreliable and overpriced.

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reply to nutcr0cker

Re: Justified Government Action

said by nutcr0cker:

Why do you feel so bitter? The notion of appartment owners being paid for screwing the renters is similar to the tax cut for the rich. 50 billion for an illegal war and veto for the health benefits of poor American children. Now thats what I call as true CONservative humanitarian values
I'm bitter?

I mentioned that this decision will probably be reversed (and say that this FCC does need to be reversed in some cases) and I get a screed about Iraq.
If they told you wolverines would make good house pets, would you believe them?
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2 recommendations

FCC: Go To Hell

This department needs to go away.

The telecoms are shitting bricks right now because the cable companies are sucking up their customers left and right. Time Warner for instance offers very reliable, and cheap phone service when compared to AT&T. I talked to a Time Warner tech who said the office is having a hard time keeping up with install requests. Cable also offers reliable, and usually faster internet than the telecoms can offer, and the telecoms TV offerings usually lack that of cable.

Let's not forget while the telecoms were sitting on their lazy asses in the mid-90s, cable companies were busy upgrading their system and preparing for the 21st century. I live in the sticks and I remember Time Warner in our neighborhood digging up all the underground wire and replacing it with what I assume is fiber.

These cable companies invested billions of dollars into their networks, and it is beginning to pay off for them today. VoIP services, and cheaper but more reliable cell phone services are killing the likes of AT&T.
The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility, and out of self interest -- for himself, his family, and the future of his country -- to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state.